Monday, 28 January 2013

Reaching for the Stars - With only a Step Stool

What's your dream?

I used to love when people asked me that, because I could say "My dream is to be a writer."  It is true, it's what I've always wanted, to write down these vivid pictures that play themselves out in my mind in pieces of story.  Through highschool, and University, I would sit in my non-writing classes, and listen to the teachers, but write my own stories - instead of notes.  Hearing and reading stories has inspired me to reach into the depths of my own imagination and weave tales that interest and excite people, that captures their minds and hearts very much like mine have been by similar tales.  It's as easy for me to tell a story as it is for me to lean back and close my eyes. I've completed two "books" so far, I started writing when I was about sixteen - they are simple, poorly edited stories that come from immaturity, but always a point of pride that they are complete. The dream to write hasn't faded, it's just become bigger, stronger, compelling me, challenging me to write better, to capture the heart of my reader more completely. I want to write in such a way that people forget they are reading a story, and instead feel they are living it.  These are lofty goals to be sure, and I know that I haven't arrived yet, but they push me forward slowly.  They dare me to dream that one day I could see my own works in print.

But, a dream is only a wish if you aren't willing to do the work to reach it. Hand in hand with the world of writing, there is the world of publishing, something I am discovering isn't quite as easy as it sounds.  I am happy for the resources at my fingertips, but at the same time it's terrifying to really consider what "getting published" means - rejection and criticism, which is maybe why I haven't explored it before. From what I can tell at this point, the road is long, but not impossible. I am making baby steps, and doing at least a few things right, but suddenly a dream centered deep in my heart has become a matter of faith and concentraited effort that will require sacrifice.

So, if you, dear reader, ever feel compelled to write a response to the tales I've written here, either positive or negative, please do. Compliments are the sweet joy that propels and builds my confidence, and criticisms are the grit and struggle that comes from introspection and investigation as I work to sharpen and build my craft into something beautiful.

I would encourage you, as well.  What is your dream? How long has it been there, and what do you hope to do with it? Invest in it, even if you don't believe you will see the return...invest.

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